Richter Named SFRES Researcher of the Year

In the 26 years Dana Richter has been a part of Michigan Tech’s School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science (SFRES), he has served in many capacities, from classroom teacher to researcher and advisor. While his roles may have varied, one thing hasn’t changed—the passion he brings to everything he does.

That dedication, commitment and passion have not gone unnoticed by students and peers. The SFRES has awarded Richter, a research scientist and adjunct associate professor, the Researcher of the Year Award for 2016.

Terry Sharik, dean of SFRES, says despite what the name of the award may indicate, the honor is not bestowed annually.

“Actually, we haven’t given out the award in anyone’s recent memory,” Sharik says. “We use it to highlight the researchers who are our unsung heroes.”

Sharik said awarding the Researcher of the Year to Richter is a reflection of his outstanding career.

“It’s his body of work that we’re honoring. It’s a body of work that is impressive and worthy of recognition.” Sharik said the award was voted by the faculty, staff and students of SFRES.

Much of Richter’s research is for industry, such as testing for decay in wood products and testing new wood preservatives. A great deal of his research involves fungus and mold testing. “I do things in this lab, using sterile technique, that you’d do in a hospital,” Richter says.

Sharik said of Richter, “He is our expert in forest pathology.” 

Richter says he’s humbled by the School’s recognition. “I’m truly honored. I couldn’t have done it without the support of so many wonderful colleagues over the years. To work in this department has been a joy.”

But working in his chosen field seems to be his greatest honor. “I can’t say how fulfilled I am to be working in the field of forestry, with trees and with wood.”

Read the full story.

Order of the Engineer Induction Held

On April 18, the Department of Chemical Engineering hosted its Order of the Engineer induction ceremony.

The ceremony welcomed 53 new members to the order, including two biomedical engineers and three faculty and staff members. 

In 2015, 27 members were inducted, bringing the total of the Michigan Tech Chemical Engineering cohort to 134 since 2014.

Following the lead of Canadian Engineers, the Order of the Engineer was initiated in the U.S. in 1970 to foster a spirit of pride and responsibility in the engineering profession, to bridge the gap between training and experience and to present to the public a visible symbol identifying the engineer.

The Obligation is a creed accepted by initiates, and is similar to the medical profession’s Hippocratic oath. The Obligation sets forth an ethical code and contains parts of the Canon of Ethics of major engineering societies. Initiates, as they accept it voluntarily, pledge to uphold the standards and dignity of the engineering profession and to serve humanity by making the best use of Earth’s precious wealth. Members of the Order of the Engineer wear a stainless steel ring on the small finger of their working hand.

For more on the Order of the Engineer, see their website.

SBE Student in Finals of National Essay Competition

An entry from Michigan Tech's School of Business and Economics (SBE) has been named a finalist in the iOme Challenge, a national competition.

The SBE's entry was an essay written by Jerrid Burdue. Emaneul Oliveira (SBE) is the faculty advisor. The official announcement of the ultimate winning team will be June 6

This is the fourth time SBE has participated in the iOme competition with our team reaching the finals each time they competed. SBE did not participate in 2015 because the competition changed the time frame from the Fall to Spring semester.

The iOme Challenge is coordinated by WISER (Women's Institute For A Secure Retirement), in Washington D.C. and sponsored by entities such as the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries, Financial Planning Association, Prudential, Experian, among others.

The winning team will go to Washington June 28 and 29 and present their essay to members of Congress, policy-makers and others who are interested in this policy issue.

A top prize of $5,000 will be awarded to the winning student team and $1,500 to the team's faculty advisor.

More information can be found on the iOme Challenge and WISER web sites.


Lean is built on positivity and improvement rather than focusing on the negatives all the time. Here in the Office of Continuous Improvement, we strive to promote an environment free of blame and full of creativity. We are open about how we feel, speak up if we have ideas and ask for help if we need it. Working closely together through achievements and mistakes, teams can continuously evolve for the better. It's as easy as coming to work with a smile on your face and a chipper attitude. Remember, positivity is a choice. If you put it out there, it is sure to come back to you.

To learn more about Lean and continuous improvement, check out the Office of Continuous Improvement webpage or contact us at 7-3180 or

Tech Unveils 2016-17 Hockey Schedule

Four series against teams from last year's NCAA tournament, a trip to the 52nd Great Lakes Invitational and 14 games against in-state rivals are among the highlights of the 2016-17 Michigan Tech hockey schedule, which was unveiled yesterday.

The nationally-ranked Huskies open their 96th season of hockey with a non-conference series at former WCHA foe Minnesota Duluth Oct. 1-2, renewing a rivalry that dates back to 1952-53.

Tech jumps right into league action the following weekend (Oct. 7-8) to start the defense of the MacNaughton Cup with a road test against Minnesota State before returning to the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena for a two-game set with Alabama Huntsville on Oct. 14-15

The new WCHA playoff format begins this season and will feature home-site games for the duration of the conference tournament. The first round and semifinals will each be best-of-three series at the higher seed, while the WCHA Championship Game will be a one-game, winner-takes-all matchup at the highest remaining seed.

For the complete 2016-17 schedule, click here.

To read the full story and find out more about Husky Athletics, visit

In the News

GVNow, a newsletter published by Grand Valley State University, reported on a new book by a GVSU professor on Yooper dialect and identity.

The news story notes that much of the research for the book was done in the Michigan Tech Archives.

The book's title is "Yooper Talk: Dialect as Identity in Michigan's Upper Peninsula."

See the story here.

Job Posting

Job Posting for Friday, May 20th, 2016

Staff and faculty job descriptions are available in the Human Resources Department. For more information regarding staff positions call 7-2280 or email For more information regarding faculty positions contact the academic department in which the position is posted.

Presentation and Classroom Support Specialist, Information Technology. Apply online.

Michigan Technological University is an Equal Opportunity Education Institution/Equal Opportunity Employer, which includes providing equal opportunity for protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.  

New Funding

Kuilin Zhang (CEE/MTTI) is the principal investigator on a project that has received $65,139 from the University of Chicago.
Yue Li (CEE), is the Co-PI on the project "Coordinated Transit Response Planning and Operations Support Tools for Mitigating Impacts of All-Hazard Emergency Events."
This is the first year of a potential two-year project totaling $135,000.


Taste of Hawaii at Khana Khazana

Hawaiian cuisine is on tap at today's Khana Khazana in the food trailer in the MUB Circle.

The menu features Creamy Potato Salad, Huli Huli Chicken and Fresh Corn Tomato Salad. 

The cost of the full meal is $6.95. Visit the Khana Khazana at Michigan Tech Facebook page.


National Bike To Work Day Today

Today is National Bike to Work Day. Find out more about the local effort here.

Bike to Work Week is also a great time to join our local effort in the National Bike Challenge.


EDUCAUSE & NACUBO IT Enterprise Summit Takeaways

The IT Enterprise Summit is a joint conference presented by Educause and NACUBO to bring chief information officers, chief business officers and senior IT and administrative leaders together to examine the future and direction of Higher Ed information technology through the lens of business and financial operations.

This year, the focus was on the increasing adoption of cloud services and the impact on the enterprise and how IT and business leaders should prepare.

Cayce Will, director of the Office of Information Services in Administration and Jena Hale, director of IT Business Operations in Information Technology attended the 2016 IT Enterprise Summit in New Orleans this year and they put together the following takeaways on their return:  

  • Information services and security are a shared responsibility among IT and the rest of campus.
  • Moving Higher Ed IT and Business services to the cloud is growing in frequency and the cloud is becoming the defacto environment for campus services.

  • Transitioning to the cloud is risky, expensive, fraught with complexity and disruptive.

    • BUT - it is full of opportunities we cannot afford to ignore.

    • These opportunities must be the driving motivation not cost.

  • Higher Ed IT is moving from managing servers to managing vendors and services.

    • This means paying more attention to vendor financial reports to monitor their health and viability and longevity

    • This may require a redirection of duties within IT to handle cloud architecture, vendor management, contract management and cost accounting.

  • It is important to divest commodity services.

    • Those that are mission critical but not differentiating should be moved to the cloud.

    • As we make these changes, we must focus on why instead of how.

  • Before procuring storage in the cloud, the first step is to review and update outdated retention policies.

    • It was stated that “If we still had the amount of paper records as we do electronically, we would be building a warehouse weekly.”

    • Suggested a physical and electronic record cleanup day annually.

  • Organizations must pay more attention to contract details and SLAs. Have an exit strategy in writing when signing the contract.

  • Because of the ease with which cloud based services may be acquired (all it takes is a p-card) the importance and value of an active, healthy and well-designed IT Governance system cannot be overstated. It is Business Critical for alignment of resources and strategy.

  • We aren't in this alone. Look to the benefits of consortia, cooperatives and associations.